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Summer Break

With a vacation balance reaching Himalayan proportions, I am heading to the mountains (New England, not Nepal). Colleague Paul Tenorio and others will keep the Insider chugging along the next seven days and provide forums for, among other things, D.C. United's U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal Tuesday and the USA Gold Cup match against Honduras on Wednesday at RFK Stadium.

By Steve Goff  |  July 6, 2009; 7:31 AM ET
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Next: Notes from RFK...x2


The #1 and #2 DCU priority when looking at new players once the transfer window opens is a forward that can consistently finish and getting a left back. Burch is a nightmare and has no business on the field. I would make a left back the top priority, but both need to be addressed.

Posted by: therealfootball | July 6, 2009 7:49 AM | Report abuse

DC's Open Cup quarterfinal against Harrisburg tomorrow at the Soccerplex is threatening to be "the forgotten game". DC United's website is more interested in promoting sales to the Real Madrid game next month, many of the fans who might go to the Plex are more focused on Wed night's US Gold Cup game vs Honduras at RFK, and now the Post's DC United beat reporter goes on vacation!

Let's hope Paul "Boy Wonder" Tenorio can come through in the clutch and keep us all informed! (Not picking on you, Paul, just felt an urgent need to drop a Batman and Robin reference)

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | July 6, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

dadryan: I just heard "argy bargy" on the TdF coverage.

Posted by: Reignking | July 6, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Have a great vacation Goff. Wish we could bail on this popstand and go to the beach for a week or something...*sigh*.
Wife using all her PTO for our trip to Hawaii in October, so we lay low for now...

@RK:missed the Argy Bargy talk on the TDF, I gotta get better about flipping on the Tour Tracker. Speaking of AB... How the heck did throwin rack up so many points in the last two weeks?!? Dude...
I'm excited about the return of the team time trial in stage 4. I'm curious to see if Astana will have the dominant form they had in the US Postal days....

Posted by: DadRyan | July 6, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Goff- Enjoy your well-deserved vacation!

Therealfootball- Like all other United fans, I wouldn't mind the team upgrading at left back, and I'd agree that that position would be a good target during the transfer window. But I think you're being too hard on Burch calling him a nightmare with "no business on the field". I guess he's an easy scapegoat, but I would actually go so far as to say that Burch is an above average left back by MLS standards. In general, it's just a very weak position in this league. How many left backs in MLS are actually better than Burch? Padula and Bornstein off the top of my head. Jeremy Hall too if you're looking towards the future. Anyone else?

Posted by: DCUMD | July 6, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

dadryan -- I've got the online feed running for the TdF. It is very good.

Posted by: Reignking | July 6, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Did someone say "mountain"?!

Just one more morning
I have to wake up with the blues
Pull myself out of bed, yeah
Put on my walking shoes
Climb up on the mountain
To see what I could see, yeah
The whole world was falling, baby
Right down in front of me

'Cause I'm hung up on those dreams I'll never see...

Have a great week off, Steve. We'll try and survive with you.

Posted by: joedoc1 | July 6, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Steve: Have fun, send pictures, and scout for a left-sided midfielder for the USMNT (New Englanders are all leftys, no?).

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | July 6, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

This is unacceptable. Why weren't we notified of your vacation in advance? I expect to see a full itinerary and world peace by noon.

Posted by: sitruc | July 6, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

The Tour Tracker is awesome. Continuous heli-feeds and no commercials? Sweet.

Posted by: DadRyan | July 6, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Again the team time trial tomorrow is bound to be well worth watching.

Posted by: DadRyan | July 6, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

They are making me so envious, talking about the food, hotels, etc...

Posted by: Reignking | July 6, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Have fun, Goffinho! :-)

Posted by: Juan-John | July 6, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Insider Loyalists to the TDF!

Posted by: DadRyan | July 6, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

I think I need to create a fantasy cycling group (on versus) called argy bargy

Posted by: Reignking | July 6, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Steve - not sure if you're already off and won't see this, but...

Every morning when I'm on the subway, and it goes over the bridge between Brooklyn and Manhattan, I take the brief window of 3G service to load the Soccer Insider on my iPhone to read once I get back underground.

This morning it timed out when I lost service, but as I put my phone away I noticed the guy next to me, also loading the Insider on his iPhone.

So while you're on vacation you can day dream of the hordes of people up in NYC that are waiting for your return!

Posted by: joe_hill | July 6, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Insider Loyalists to the TDF !
Posted by: DadRyan

Fixed the link for ya'

Now I'm going to pierce my eardrums.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | July 6, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

oh, and to the fellow Insider follower on the Q, I should have said hey but

-you looked like you hadn't had your coffee
-when I first moved to Brooklyn, I lived near the F, and had the unofficial 'no-talking' policy that most F riders adhere to ingrained in me

Posted by: joe_hill | July 6, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Ok, I've created the Argy Bargy group at You can still join, since stages 1-4 are the practice phase.

Posted by: Reignking | July 6, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

@joedoc1 Rock on! I love the Molly Hatchet lyrics.

The last week or so after coming back from a beach vacation, I can't get that band's songs out of my head. I admit that I probably hadn't thought about them for 15 years, save for hearing of Danny Joe Brown's passing. Great stuff.

Posted by: billindmd | July 6, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

An invitation to get shelled? Oh, why not? :-)

Posted by: DadRyan | July 6, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

rider crashed because of the wind...just sounds funny

Posted by: Reignking | July 6, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Ah, another favorite thing to watch from Europe has also begun -- the running of the bulls.

Posted by: Reignking | July 6, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

DCUMD - maybe I am being a bit harsh, but Burch was out of position on the goal Saturday. Granted other things had to happen for the service to occur and be effective, but if he were in position Moreno would not have been unmarked in front of goal.

Burch has two positive qualities IMO 1) a decent service from the left side (but that can be erratic at best) and 2) he has the ability to score on free kicks (also very erratic). I honestly would sacrifice both of those qualities in a left back in order to get someone who can stay in position and not be exposed in the run of play.

I also hear your point that there are not that many quality left backs in MLS. However, I would prefer that my team, even working with MLS' difficult salary requirements, at least try to find a more suitable left back and not "settle" for a below average left back. We are playing with 3 backs most of the time and you cannot have a gaping hole at one of those positions and expect to win anything worth winning.

Posted by: therealfootball | July 6, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Lance is throwing down. More excitement than anyone thought on the day, ay?

Posted by: DadRyan | July 6, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

missing the gold cup, amazing!

Posted by: J_S_F | July 6, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Lost my video feed :( But the guys called it -- the wind made the difference.

Posted by: Reignking | July 6, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Why are you placing all the blame on the left back for a goal that came *up the middle* from a ball played in from the *right*? Yeah. maybe Burch had some culpability, but where was the central defense on that play?

Posted by: Ron16 | July 6, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

@therealfootball and @Ron16:

You are both wrong. Ron16 you are right about Burch marking up centrally, but it was Wallace who was ball watching and did not mark the far post. If you watch the replay Wallace is clearly just standing there. I don't like Burch, but he has improved. However Wallace being a former left back at Maryland should be able to read the game better in that situation. I think this happened in the first game against RSL and Burch got the blame. The 3-5-2 puts pressure on the two wing midfielders to cover the far post and can be exposed in a quick counter attack.

Posted by: no_recess | July 6, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

You're all wrong. I blame Peralta.


Posted by: fischy | July 6, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

I would have marked Moreno and saved his goal.
- Hope solo

Posted by: edgeonyou | July 6, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Tenorio, are you on Twitter, so we can follow your Insider updates. Not like my F5 key isn't worn down.

Like someone wrote before, SI feeding the addiction. Goff is to heroine, as Tenorio is to methadone?

Posted by: EssEff | July 6, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

So who knows anything about Anton Peterlin?

He played Defensive Midfield at Cal Poly last Fall, and is apparently signing with Everton. He's currently with Ventura County after rejecting Chicago and San Jose.

The story has apparently been brewing since early May, but just now hit the scroll on Sky Sports News.

He was born and raised in San Fransisco, but has family ties to Denmark, so a Work Permit won't be an issue.

Of course the question on everyone's minds now must be: Why isn't he even in the National Team pool? Especially considering DM is a rather weak sore spot for some. Mastroeni is passed it, Rico Clark is a red-card waiting to happen, and most other CMs are either holding or attacking mids.

Ives did a story on him on May 4th.

Posted by: alecw81 | July 6, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

I watched the replay again, and maybe the mistake was not all of Burch's fault, and more the fault of Wallace not providing proper cover and poor organization of the backline.

The entire backline should have been better organized and Wallace should have tracked back further. Bottom line, DCU had two defenders covering one attacker, leaving Moreno open. Wicks should have organized better and Janicki should have stayed home, thus not requiring Burch to offer support and leave Morneo open.

Either way, Burch is not a solid defender and needs to be replaced. His positive contributions to the team are far outweighed by his negative contributions.

Posted by: therealfootball | July 6, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Goff is like a female hero?

Posted by: Reignking | July 6, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

No, Burch went to cover a man who was already covered by Janicki, leaving Moreno all alone.

Posted by: alecw81 | July 6, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Time in new england
Took you away
To long rocky beaches
--and food by the bay
You started a story
Whose end must now wait

And, tell me
When will SI meet?
When will you twitter?
When will this strong yearning end?
And when will I read you again?

For the inner Manilow in everybody.

Posted by: BlackandRedRedDevil | July 6, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

I blame Jakovic.

Posted by: Reignking | July 6, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Not sure if anyone posted it, but Feilhaber was called in for the Honduras match.

Posted by: psps23 | July 6, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

did someone say "Heroine?"

The heroine stood up on the deck
The ship was out of control
The bow was being ripped to shreds
Men were fighting down below

Or did someone say "Heroin?"

I don't know just where I'm going
But I'm gonna try for the kingdom, if I can
'Cause it makes me feel like I'm a man When I put a spike into my vein
And I'll tell ya, things aren't quite the same

Posted by: delantero | July 6, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

TRF- I think you're going in the right direction. You're right to spread the blame around to Janicki, Wallace, and I'd even include Fred too for not closing down the crosser. But you're still missing the point when you say that we shouldn't expect to win anything without upgrading at LB. I don't see Marc Burch holding DC back from winning the MLS Cup when most other MLS teams have a left back with equal or lower skills.

So I did a little more research to back up my original claim that Burch is an above average left back by MLS standards. Here's what I came up with after looking at the starting LB of each team:
There are 5 left backs I would probably start over Burch: Brennan (TOR), Bornstein (CHV), Hall (NY), Heaps (NE), Padula (CLM)
There are 2 left backs about the same level as Burch: Beltran (RSL), Harvey (CLR)
There are 7 left backs I would NOT start over Burch: Besler (KC), Chabala (HOU), Dunivant (LA), Wahl (SEA), Wallace (FCD), Ward (CHI), Zaher (SJ)

Now on the other hand, if DC were to use Crayton's salary (plus maybe N'Silu's if necessary??) to bring in a left back from overseas, I'm all for it. I just don't think it's as simple as we'd all like. The last time we tried to do that we wound up with Gonzalo Martinez.

Posted by: DCUMD | July 6, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Careful in the mountains, Goff.
And do keep an eye out for Republican Governors while hiking.
Oh wait, nevermind :)

See you all at the Plex Tuesday! And at RFK Wednesday :-) All this soccer and Steve skips town .........

Posted by: dcufan | July 6, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

DCUMD - To be honest, I am not familiar enough with all the left backs in the league to offer an educated opinion, so I will take you at your word that Burch is an average MLS LB, give or take. That being said, how many of those LBs play in a three-man backline?

When you play a three-man backline, you need three solid backs because there is one less defender to provide cover. Namoff and Jakovic are solid defenders. Burch, IMO, is the weakest of the three.

DCU leads the league in scoring (26 goals in 17 games), granted it has played one or two more games than most everyone else (Seattle is next-best with 24 goals in 16 games). Its defense is in the bottom third of the league. That tells me that our offense is good enough to win enough games, but our defending needs to improve. Now, the defense can improve one of two ways: 1) DCU can go with a four-man backline, which I would say is unlikely or 2) it can change who plays in its current three-man backline.

My claim that Burch needs to be replaced is based on watching DCU play and which players are the biggest liability/limiting factor in DCU being successful. I think based on the formation Soehn favors and based on who is playing well, Burch needs to be swapped out for a better LB. I know looking league-wide, Burch may be viewed as more than adequate, but based on DCU, their formation, their tactics and their personnel, Burch needs to be replaced. That is why the FO brought in Avery John, who is worse than Burch, unfortunately.

Posted by: therealfootball | July 6, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Heroin, be the death of me
Goff, he's my wife and he's my life
Because a mainer to my vein
Leads to a center in my head
And then Im better off and dead
Because when the smack begins to flow
I really dont care anymore
About all the Fentys in this town
And all the politicians makin crazy sounds
And everybody puttin everybody else down
And all the dead bodies piled up in mounds

Posted by: EssEff | July 6, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

A: Blame for the goal rests solely on Beasley's shoulders.

B: It's fun rooting against all of France as much as I do Lance.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | July 6, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse


Here comes johnny yen again
With the liquor and drugs
And the flesh machine
Hes gonna do another strip tease.
Hey man, whered ya get that lotion?
Ive been hurting since Ive bought the gimmick
About something called love
Yeah, something called love.
Well, thats like hypnotizing chickens.

Nice jingle for a family-oriented cruise vacation, no?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | July 6, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse


That was me on the Q this morning. I was coffee-free, but definitely say hi next time and we can talk about the gold cup and the relative merits of Freddy Adu.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | July 6, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

That's not exactly how I pictured the first Soccer Insider connection beginning, but it's a start dimesmakedollars and joe_hill.

Posted by: sitruc | July 6, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Soccer Insider: Making New York City a friendlier place since 2007.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | July 6, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

"If you like pina coladas
And getting caught in the rain
If you're not into soul food
But are into champagne..."

Posted by: joedoc1 | July 6, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

wtf is up with all this poetry crap. This is a soccer forum. Anyhow i dont think burch is all that bad. I think he would make a good stopper if we ever shifted to that formation.

Posted by: g3impreza | July 6, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

DC's defense is left in the lurch
For want of a player who stays on his perch
The player oft cited is one Marc Burch
Whose antics we feel leave us in the lurch. So pray at your temple, mosque, ashram, or church
That we may soon end our left back search.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | July 6, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Rupert Holmes "crap?" How very dare you!

Posted by: BlackandRedRedDevil | July 6, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

maybe we'll have to have a Soccer Insider NYC get together some time when DCU plays on national TV - the 8/1 game vs. the Dynamo seems like a good choice. or maybe an excursion to the Gold Cup final? i'm thinking about getting tickets (cheapest = $25) in the hope that the US team can get there.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | July 6, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

I believe I-270 has won this round hands-down. We should all admit defeat and go to another thread.

Posted by: BlackandRedRedDevil | July 6, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

What?! I quoted Rupert Holmes, for goodness sake! Who can top that?!

Posted by: joedoc1 | July 6, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

And now for the youngest generation's Herione song:

You taught my heart a sense I never knew I had
I can't forget the times that I was
Lost and depressed from the awful truth
How do you do it?
You're my herione.

Ha, now I've dropped lyrics none of you have heard. Took long enough.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | July 6, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

i'm holding off on getting a ticket for the gold cup final until the US actually makes it that far.

after the last DCU game at meadowlands i was really looking forward to never making that trek on public transportation again though (unless it was for Maiden again).

@dimesmakedollars - next time i'm on the Q (I usually take the N from Pacific but the R was late and so was I) I'll keep my eye out for fellow DCU fans!

Posted by: joe_hill | July 6, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

No problem, I will represent you in Nepal Goff! I will be there in 3 weeks and will make sure i check the Soccer Insider from there! :)

Posted by: charlie015 | July 6, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Have fun on your vacation!

Posted by: GoUnited | July 6, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Here's wishing you a good trip....

Posted by: fischy | July 6, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Hey Goffer, if you happen to check in on this, I'd be happy to buy you a couple rounds at the Long Trail Brewery while you're in NE, that is, of course, if you're spending time in the Green Mountains. You've kept my work hours entertaining, and it's the least I could do!

Posted by: vandivere13 | July 6, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

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